New Details Emerge About Anne Heche’s Car Crash
On August 5, 2022, actress Anne Heche crashed her Mini Cooper into a home in the Mar Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles. That much we have known for awhile now.
Now, there is new information. The Los Angeles Fire Department has released time-shaped recordings of radio communications during the rescue. These recordings indicate that Heche was inside the burning home for about 45 minutes before fire fighters were able to rescue her from her vehicle which was trapped inside the burning home.
That might seem like a long time, and it is, but LAFD Deputy Chief Richard Fields explained why it took so long. He said, “Given the heavy fire and smoke conditions, it wasn’t that you could clearly see into the vehicle or clearly be able to access it.” He added, “Heavy smoke conditions, heavy fire conditions, which makes it very difficult for us to just see each other on the inside of a working structure fire.”
The first of the recordings was time-stamped 11:01am when the LAFD arrived at the burning house. Moments later, a dispatcher radioed, “There is a person stuck inside the vehicle.”
Paramedics were instructed to treat a woman who was found inside the home, but this woman was the woman who lived in the home, not Heche, who was still trapped inside the vehicle.
At 11:18, one firefighter radioed, “We do have no patients at this time.” At the time, the firefighter did not think anyone else was trapped.
At 11:22am, another firefighter wanted to clarify that nobody was in the vehicle. He asked, “Let me clear this up, so – you do have a patient in the car?”
At 11:25am, 24 minutes after arriving at the home, another firefighter, speaking through an oxygen mask, said he found the vehicle’s driver. He said, “We have identified one patient, inaccessible at this time, he’s pushed up against the floorboard!”
Heche was not found on the driver’s side of the car. Instead, she was on the floorboard on the passenger side of the car.
Firefighters used a tow truck to remove the vehicle from the home. At 11:49am, the car was finally out of the home, but Heche was still inside the vehicle.
Over the radio, a firefighter said, “We have one patient in the auto, being assessed, about to be loaded up on the gurney for transport.”
Heche was taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and later transferred to Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital. She died 7 days after the crash. According to the death certificate, her cause of death was smoke inhalation and thermal injuries.
According to the LAFD, even if they had known immediately that someone was inside the vehicle, they wouldn’t have been able to respond quicker. It took them awhile to get the fire under control to the point where they could get to the vehicle and remove it.